Watson Consoles Blog

If you're an emergency communications pro, you know how important it is that tools and technology stay current with public safety regulations and workplace requirements. For us, this means designing solutions that ease technology and equipment integration and access. Learn what inspired Design Engineer, Sil B., to create a better monitor array and why it matters. 

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Old-school police officers can recount the days of the desk sergeant sitting with his feet up, waiting for the phone to ring and putting out calls over the one button radio. Dispatching was simpler back then.  As societal norms have grown more complex, the role and technology of first responders has matched the pace. 

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For 15 years, the landscape of the modern-era PSAP remained virtually unchanged with operators sitting in pods at 90 degree corner workstations. When the 90 degree style made its debut, it was revolutionary and capably accommodated critical technology.  Today, changes in technology, ergonomics and use-of-space have rendered the style outmoded. Learn why.

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Smooth operation of multiple input devices, hardware and software is the backbone of mission critical service. Cords and cabling are the connective tissue. All to often, however, cable management is an after thought. Learn how the right dispatch console work station design eases the IT burden and protects your mission critical systems. 

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If you are a public safety communications professional, you know the best dispatch console workstations are designed, engineered and built to meet the distinct needs of multiple groups – dispatchers, IT specialists and facility managers. Of all the unique features on a 911 workstation, a pencil tray is rarely among them. So, you might ask, “Why is this relevant to my PSAP?” Here is why.

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If you are not directly involved with staffing a 911 communications center, you likely do not realize the challenges cities face to retain telecommunicators. Providing the right tools for the job, including specialized dispatcher desks, is one way Comm Centers prioritize community safety, and protect public funding from the high spend associated with higher-than-average turnover. 

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Recently, a customer’s procurement team asked why the dispatchers required 911 dispatch console work stations - versus standard desks. This is a great question and something public agencies should ask when allocating public funds as it is not always easy to balance limited funding across multiple agencies. Being informed about why certain tools are right for the job is one way organizations demonstrate good stewardship of the funds, and respect for the teams and communities they serve.

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Did you know that the aesthetic impact of 911 dispatch furniture can have a lasting effect on your team? That effect - good or bad - influences focus, efficiency, comfort and, ultimately, a center's churn rate. And the ripples of your purchase impact the economy. Learn how your single 911 dispatch furniture purchase can do so much.

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The answer is BOTH! In the previous installment, we shared the myth of wood inferiority, the reason that the mis-information about wood-core materials has come up more frequently, and the true value of blended materials manufacturing of dispatch consoles. Now, discover why wood and steel - together - provide lasting durability and superior aesthetics for 24/7 shift-work teams. 

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You may have been recently misled with a false claim. The pitch may have gone something like this: “I understand your agency is planning to replace your consoles... ...That’s great news. As you consider your options, you should really stay away from the wood-based products. Steel is so much more sturdy! You need a console that is built to last and wood can’t do the job.”

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The adjustment controls integrated into a dispatch console evolve just like the technology the console is designed to hold. The catalyst for change at the manufacturing level is typically related to updates in safety and ergo standards, and feedback from users related to comfort preferences. For the PSAP, seeking out new features may be inspired by dispatcher complaints about current features, a renovation, a move, fluctuation in staffing, or team consolidation. 

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Technology drives efficiency within the PSAP. In addition to making sure your center has the most current systems capability, it's important to consider how the hardware impacts your space. By now it’s a familiar refrain: as technology gets better, technology gets smaller. For PSAP centers, this is a good news/bad news scenario.

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Technology has done wonders for the PSAP industry, allowing safety centers to respond quicker, more proactively, and more accurately. It’s improved everything from phone calls to radio communication, and made emergency vehicles trackable via GPS. And without exception, these new technologies require a data cable and a connection to the Internet. As the number of technologies helping to facilitate exceptional public safety has grown, the number of data cables and connection points has grown with it. Unless PSAP centers give serious thought to the problems associated with increased cabling

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Your emergency response center is a critical hub for community health and safety deployment. To do your job, you rely on a complex network of software, supported by hardware that connects to the building power. The electronic equipment you rely on faces three major power-interruption dangers: lightning, static electricity discharge, and electric al surges. Improperly grounded equipment can be damaged, data can be lost, and the vital services that you provide can be disrupted.

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Technology evolution continues to be a large part of planning and maintaining efficient PSAPs and Operations Centers. Over the past few years we have seen an increased need to provide immediate monitor array solutions that will also work for imminent upgrades. Here are a few of the top questions our customers ask:

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What does ‘Future-Proof’ mean?

At the highest level, the concept of future-proofing is to design a product in such a way that it is unlikely to become obsolete.  In reality, very few, if any products are truly future-proof; however, a manufacturer’s commitment to the principles of future-proofing can drastically extend the life of a given product. The factors for determining the usable life vary from product to product and depend in large part to external factors. 

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